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Old 12-20-2008, 11:57 AM   #1
Ryan Whipple
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Ryan's Quest to Learn the Snatch

I'm going to be doing this each Saturday for a while, so I'll just use this one thread.

Today's snatching:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGFICSOhDwk

My own critique is that I feel like I'm not standing up all the way before I go for the pull overhead. However, when I try this, it feels wrong, because pulling the bar into my hips just stops the motion. Basically I'm pulling the snatch as soon as it crosses my knee and I'm pretty sure that's wrong.

Also, with the plates down to give me height this time, I notice I tend to jump backwards about a foot. Is this part of my early pull? Is it bad?
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Old 12-20-2008, 02:24 PM   #2
Ron Gaza
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Re: Ryan's Quest to Learn the Snatch

I'm not an expert at the snatch but one thing I noticed is that your feet are to far apart when your setting up.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:56 PM   #3
Jeff Yan
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Re: Ryan's Quest to Learn the Snatch

Also not an expert here.

1) Continuing on what Ron says, have your feet shoulder width apart.

Walk up to a plyo box and prepare to jump onto it. That is, wind up as if you're jumping, but stop yourself before you actually leave the ground, and note how far apart your feet are. That should be your starting snatch stance width (and they should be about shoulder width apart).

2) Your snatch grip doesn't look wide enough either. I can't see it entirely clearly, but that grip looks only marginally than your regular press grip.

Also, are your shoulders active and your arms completely locked rock solid?

3) Keep the barbell as close to your body as possible. In your video, it looks like once the barbell clears your knees, there's a pretty sizable gap between your body and the bar. Leaning backwards during the second pull and shrug might help.

4) You're hopping backwards. I don't remember off the top of my head how that's corrected. Maybe someone else can offer advice?

5) Overall it looks like it's lacking a bit in snap and aggression. Are you cutting your hip extension short? Are you getting the elevation from the shoulder shrug?

Last edited by Jeff Yan : 12-30-2008 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:17 AM   #4
Peter Terry Haas
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Re: Ryan's Quest to Learn the Snatch

Ryan, great stuff so far. Overall things are pretty decent, you just really need to tweak some details.

Since this is going to be an ongoing thing, I'll just go with what your should correct first, in my opinion. I'll be blunt for the sake of brevity.

Your receiving position (OHS) is weak. You're just a bit short of full lockout and you aren't pushing up on the weight properly at the top. Right now you are sort of just supporting it overhead instead of actively pushing up. That will work at the light weights you are using, but you will be punished for it at heavier weights. That's one of the reasons why you always have a little bit of a wobble at the bottom of your receiving position.

How to fix (all links wfs to exercise demos). Do all of these w/ an empty bar and increase loading gradually:
-From that angle I can't tell if your grip is wide enough. You may need to widen your grip. Next post stick at least one shot from the front in.
-Sots press+OHS: Get the bar overhead however you want. Overhead squat down and hold the bottom position. Do a Sots press. Stand back up w/ the bar overhead. 3-5 repetitions per set. Really emphasize PUSHING TOWARD THE CEILING throughout the whole set. There should be no slack anywhere.
-Snatch Balance + Sots Press + OHS: Once you are comfortable locking out, do that complex to learn to hit a solid bottom position dynamically.
-Muscle Snatch + OHS + Snatch Balance + Sots Press: Once you are comfortable with the above, this will help you with your timing and entry into the overhead position. Coach B describes this complex in a CFJ, so if you have a subscription you should check it out.

Great work so far. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:28 AM   #5
Jeff Yan
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Re: Ryan's Quest to Learn the Snatch

Sorry, I just realized that my responses (#4 and #5) completely disregarded your own observations that you already stated in your original post.

Also, correction:
2) Your snatch grip doesn't look wide enough either. I can't see it entirely clearly, but that grip looks only marginally wider than your regular press grip.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:53 AM   #6
Ryan Whipple
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Re: Ryan's Quest to Learn the Snatch

Thanks for the feedback guys. There's no video from this past Saturday because I'm travelling, borrowed my family's camera, and I can't edit the format it records in. It woulda been sideways and in seven different segments. I should get good film this weekend though.

@Jeff:
1-Thanks, that's a good visual que.
2-I'll widen it, and I'm really not sure. So much is going on during these lifts its hard to notice it all! I'll pay attention though.
3-I tried leaning backwards, but I just realized that with my narrow grip I had to lean too far back for it to do any good. We'll see what a wider grip does to my form in the future.

@Peter:
1-I'm not sure I understand our first comment. Would it be accurate to paraphrase and say that I'm just pulling the bar up and catching it, rather than controlling it? Or did you mean something else?

2-Thanks for the technique-work tips. At the moment I'm not sure how I'll incorporate those, since my program is just about all the volume I really want to do right now. I don't think there's any getting around the fact that I'm only finally moving from marathoning to CF to pure strength work, and my all-around strength is really low. I think changing that will go a long way in fixing my form.

More to come on Saturday!
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:02 PM   #7
Duke McCall
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Re: Ryan's Quest to Learn the Snatch

Ryan:

I understand you may prefer to focus on strength, but you should not assume that improving your strength will correct your technique. Your technique will only improve if you employ exercises intended to address technique flaws (there are a lot of really strong guys out there with crappy technique who could lift a lot more if their technique was better).

Peter's suggestions are good. You figure out a way in incorporate them with little or no weight, if you really want to improve your technique. If you would rather focus on strength gains that is fine too, but you should not expect your technique to improve unless you employ exercises designed to address your technique flaws.

My two cents,

Duke
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:17 PM   #8
Ryan Whipple
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Re: Ryan's Quest to Learn the Snatch

Duke, will doing the exercises with just a bar be enough effort to get a training effect? If light weights are still worthwhile, it would be easier to incorporate them into what I'm donig now.

Also, I see your point about technique vs strength. I didn't mean to inply technique was not valuable (otherwise I wouldn't be posting here!) but rather that I think my lack of strength is affecting my ability to have good technique. In another thread a while back I was told that the weight I was lifting was so light I could get away with a lot of things I couldn't get away with when I lifted heavier. I'm only lifting another 5-10 lbs more now, so I'm still in the range of being able to get away with mistakes.

Overall I think the most valuable suggestions have been stance and grip width. Before this suggestion I was wondering how good lifters leaned so far back in videos. Now I realize it's because when the grip is wide, leaning back actually moves the bar above the hips, vs a narrow grip where leaning back barely moves the bar above mid-thigh and puts me off balance. I'll pay a lot more attention to this next time around, and look forward to either improving, or falling flat on my butt a lot. Either way, I'll be learning something!
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:32 PM   #9
Peter Terry Haas
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Re: Ryan's Quest to Learn the Snatch

Ryan,
You are turning the bar over at the top and just balancing it over your head, instead of actively pushing it up towards the ceiling. There is slack in the system all the way from your hands down to your hips. That's one of the reasons why you wobble on the receipt and recovery (when you stand up). Try the first complex, and you'll understand how hard you should be pushing up on the bar.

On second look, you might unconsciously have issues about where the bar is in relation to your head. The bar will be directly over your scapulas and behind the crown of your head at the bottom of the squat. If you try to have the bar even slightly over your head, you won't achieve full 'bone-on-bone' lock out. If you watch the Sots press video you'll see this relationship between bar and body.

How to incorporate: The first two complexes just build you up for the last one. Spend some extra time doing them with an empty bar until you feel confident in the last one. Then use the last complex as a warmup before every snatch workout you do.

Post a vid of that final complex and I'll let you know how it looks.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:01 PM   #10
Ryan Whipple
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Re: Ryan's Quest to Learn the Snatch

Good points Peter. I'll try this whole complex on Saturday and video it if I can (I'm with family over the holidays and their camera records in a format I can't edit). Does 3 sets of 3 for each drill, and then 3 full snatches sound reasonable?
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